tribute sydney

When the new South African Constitutional Court was inaugurated in 1995, I was an acting justice of the court. The chief justice was there to swear everyone in but Nelson came onto the bench formally to inaugurate the court. I still remember his exact words. "The last time I entered a court it was to find out whether I was going to be sentenced to death." That was literally true. It had been the end of the Rivonia Trial, and he was in court to see if they were going to be sentenced to death. There was a sort of hush when he said that. Everyone was obviously thinking, "Supposing that judge had sentenced Nelson to death?" If he had, the odds are he would have been hanged. I was thinking, "Aren't we lucky? Aren't we lucky?"